Special approval

Special approval

What is a Special Approval (Waiver)?

There are two types of Special Approval (Waiver) requests:

-  Pre-requisite Waivers

A pre-requisite is a unit that must be completed, or a requirement or condition that must be satisfied, before enrolment into a particular unit. A co-requisite is a unit that must be completed prior to, or concurrently with another unit.

Special Approval (Waiver) is given to students who have not completed the pre-requisites or co-requisites for a particular unit but who can demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge to successfully complete the unit.

Please contact the offering faculty for more information about what is required for enrolment if you do not meet the pre-requisites or co-requisites.

-  Permission by Special Approval

These are required for some special units, such as research projects, PACE units or special interest topics.

Please contact the offering faculty for more information about what is required for enrolment into these units.

What is not a Special Approval (Waiver) request?

Requests for the following reasons do not fall under Special Approval (Waivers):

  • Wanting to study more than 14 credit points in a session
  • Study plan space issues
  • Recognition of prior learning

Please contact Student Connect for more information about these processes and how to apply.

Before you apply

Step 1

Check whether you satisfy the prerequisites for the unit you wish to undertake in the online handbook.

If you don’t satisfy the listed prerequisites but would still like to undertake the unit, contact the faculty for advice about your suitability.

If you are applying for ‘permission by special approval’, please contact the faculty offering the unit for advice about your suitability.

Step 2

Ensure that you have sufficient space within your study plan on eStudent to undertake the unit(s) that require Special Approval (Waiver).

To do this, you must be able to add the unit onto your study plan as a ‘planned’ unit on eStudent.

Note: If you have a pending Recognition of Prior Learning application for pre-requisite units please await the outcome of that application before applying.

How to apply

Special Approval (Waiver) requests are submitted online via AskMQ.

If you wish to have your Special Approval (Waiver) requests processed for the current or upcoming session(s), you must have submitted the request by close of business Friday, Week 1 of Session.

Requests submitted after this date may not be processed by the last date to enrol for the current session (Sunday, Week 2 of Session). Late requests will not be considered as exceptional circumstances for the purpose of Late Unit Enrolment.

The processing time for these applications can take up to 7-10 working days. Students can check the outcome of their requests on AskMQ, eStudent and student emails.


  • Log into eStudent using your OneID.
  • Add the unit you wish to enrol in onto your study plan as a planned unit.
  • Select the Request a Waiver option from the left-hand menu of eStudent. This will redirect you to the AskMQ form to submit a Special Approval (Waiver) request.
  • Indicate the type of Special Approval (Waiver) you are seeking:
    • Pre-requisite Waiver
    • Permission by Special Approval
  • Follow the prompts and fill out all the necessary information, including for which session you are applying and why you should be granted the Special Approval (Waiver).
  • Attach supporting documentation:
    • If you have undertaken units at Macquarie University, you can download a copy of your transcript via eStudent
    • If you have not yet studied any units at Macquarie University, please upload evidence to support your request.
    • If you are an Exchange or Study Abroad student, please attach an official copy of your home institution transcript.

To attach a supporting document, click ‘Add a reply’ and then ‘Browse’ to add the document.

You will receive an automated receipt email after submission to your Macquarie student email account.

A request is required for each unit for which you are seeking approval.

You can submit an online enquiry if you require further assistance.

After you apply

You will be notified of the outcome through your student email address. Be sure to check this regularly in case additional information is required from you to support your application.

The processing time for these applications can take up to 7-10 working days. Students can check the outcome of their requests on AskMQ, eStudent and student emails.

Please note that the outcome is final and waivers are primarily approved in special circumstances, they are not a right. If you have a question about the outcome please contact your faculty student centre.

Faculty of Business and Economics

If you are applying for BUS880, FOBE200, and/or FOBE300 there is a separate procedure for special approval, so please refer to the application process on AskMQ.

Any questions about the special approval process should be directed to BESS in the first instance.

Exchange Students

If you are an Inbound Exchange/Study Abroad Student and have not completed the pre-requisite or co-requisite at Macquarie then you will need to apply for a waiver. You will need to demonstrate that you have equivalent prior study or experience in order to be considered.

Exchange or Study Abroad Students are required to submit an official copy of their home university transcript. This needs to include your most recent marks and grades and should clearly state the degree you are studying and your home institution.

Please see the enrolment steps website for Exchange and Study Abroad students for additional information and step-by-step support.

Exchange or Study Abroad Students will be contacted about their waiver requests through their Macquarie Student Email Address. Please contact the Exchange Office if you have difficulty accessing your student email account.

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